This week, DRCNet introduces a new feature of our Rapid Response Network, THE WEEK ON-LINE with DRCNet. This service is designed to keep our growing Rapid Response membership up to date with DRCNet, the movement, and the issue in general. While we know that many of you enjoy the Rapid Response Network in part due to its low-volume, high- impact format, we hope that you will find THE WEEK ON-LINE with DRCNet well worth the one extra message.
Each week, THE WEEK ON-LINE will bring you a summary of the past week's Action Alerts, updates on issues covered in prior Alerts - including DRCNet members' impact, organizational news including new features on our web sites, a rundown of media coverage of DRCNet and our activities, employment opportunities, a "Link of the Week" to a web site which may be of interest to Rapid Response Members, and much more (or less) depending upon YOUR input.
As this is a new service, we are hoping to get your feedback, comments and suggestions so that THE WEEK ON-LINE with DRCNet can grow to be as useful and interesting as possible.
FIRST, A NOTE OF THANKS TO OUR MEMBERS: Twice in the past six months, DRCNet has been forced to call on our members to step up to the plate during times of imminent fiscal crisis. Both times you came through. Now that DRCNet is back on its feet (although still a bit thin) we would like to thank everyone who dug deep and came up with a few dollars to support our important work.
But just because Dave and Adam are back on payroll, and are no longer skipping meals to make rent, doesn't mean that the need is gone. Here at DRCNet we have made a great deal happen on a shoestring budget (just look at our new web sections outlined below!) DRCNet's low-cost, high-impact electronic activism is exactly the right way to invest in social change as the twentieth century draws to a close. The fact that the government is suddenly very interested in marginalizing the growing on-line reform movement (see "Last Week's Alerts" below) should tell you all you need to know about the impact that we - you and DRCNet together - are beginning to have.
As you know, all of DRCNet's on-line services are free. We want to get the most important information out to the most people. But we still survive on our members' support. So if you are not already a paying member, now is the time to act. Simply visit our online registration form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html and make your (fully encrypted, for your protection) credit card donation. Or else, you can mail a check to: DRCNet, 4455 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite B-500, Washington, D.C. 20008. You can even make a credit card donation by phone at 202-362-0030.
Thanks, Adam and Dave
1. LAST WEEK'S ALERTS: Government fires opening salvo in war on internet reform activities: DRCNet members respond!
2. WEB SITE NEWS: New Home Page (at an easy-to-remember address!) New sections on Drug-Related AIDS, Prisoners of the Drug War, and Action Alert Archives.
3. PAST ALERTS: Update on Will Foster - DRCNet helps get action! Oregon MJ Recrim - last chance to act!
4. LINK OF THE WEEK: A chance to fill out a Drug Warrior survey!
5. EMPLOYMENT: Two new job opportunities in the movement!
CURRENT ALERTS: (If every member writes just one letter - or sends one email - or makes one phone call - per month...)
GOVERNMENT FIRES OPENING SALVO...
On Friday, June 20th, the New York Times carried a front page article by Christopher Wren titled, "Seductive Drug Culture Flourishes on the Internet." In it, there was, in our opinion, an inexcusable blurring of the lines between legitimate and principled drug policy reform, and the worst of the worst of on-line drug "information" (recipes for Methamphetamine, advocacy of LSD use by teenagers, etc.) DRCNet Director David Borden was quoted in the piece. Then on Wednsday, June 25th, Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, in an article in the Washington Post ("Other Drugs Supplanting Cocaine Use" by Roberto Suro, pg. 1) announced that the Federal Government would be putting $400,000 into "anti-drug" web development, because, according to the good Czar, "If you go on the Internet right now, it's dominated by pro-drug, pro-legalization opportunities to learn; you know, High Times, interactive video. And the more objective, scientific, socially responsible thinking almost isn't there." Hearing the government label responsible drug policy reform efforts as "pro-drug" is nothing new. The fact that they will be targeting the Internet, however, is. Despite the ominous sounding language and the horrific slant on the Times article, DRCNet believes that it shows that we are beginning to have our desired effect. The drug policy reformers who are organizing, educating and activating on- line have absolutely nothing to hide. If the government wants to talk about "drugs on the Internet" we welcome the opportunity to get the word out about the drug policy reform movement in general and DRCNet in particular.
Rapid Response Network Responds! On Saturday, June 21, DRCNet sent out an Action Alert to this list. The response was terrific! Our office received copies of over 60 email messages to the NY Times within the first three days. (And they're still coming in.) In our experience, many of you do not regularly cc DRCNet on your correspondence, (especially snail-mail and fax) so we are certain that the Times received even more mail on the subject than we did. (NOTE: Please, when possible, cc DRCNet when responding to an Alert. It makes it easier to show our funders how responsive and effective the Rapid Response Network really is.) On Friday, June 27th, the Times' Letters section contained four letters regarding the Internet piece under the headline "Internet Promotes an Informed Drug Debate". All were on our side, and a quick check of our records indicate that at least three of the four came from members of the Network. Congratulations to RRN members Steve Welcome, Andrei Foldes, and Theodore Wilcox!! And thanks to everyone for letting the Times know that there is indeed a very serious, very important on-line movement going on.
WILL FOSTER: HOW DO YOU SPELL RELIEF? D-R-C-N-e-t!! As many of you remember, Will Foster is the 38 year-old father of three, Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferer/med mj user who was sentenced to 93 years (THAT'S NINETY-THREE YEARS!!!) in prison by the state of Oklahoma for the cultivation of his medicine. Transferred by the overcrowded OK correctional system (we need not wonder why it is overcrowded) to a facility in Texas, (400 miles from his family in Tulsa,) Mr. Foster was not receiving adequate (read: any) medical treatment for his painful and worsening condition. DRCNet members (among others) wrote to the Governor of Oklahoma and to the media to express their outrage that Will, a man with no history of violence, already sentenced to serve a draconian sentence for his choice of medicine, would have his right against cruel and unusual punishment violated by the withholding of treatment and medication. Yesterday (June 30), DRCNet received a call from Will's wife Meg, informing us that due to (in her opinion) public outcry and increased media attention, Will's health has suddenly become a priority to his jailers. This week, Will has been given two prescriptions for his condition, is scheduled to have his hideously swollen ankle drained, and was asked to sign a release so that the state could get his prior medical records. Meg, Will and their children would like to thank DRCNet's Rapid Response Network for their continued support and activism, and so we pass along their thanks to you. Will's appeal is in the works and the Fosters still need our support. For those of you who would like more information, please visit the Will Foster web site at http://www.gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/willfoster.htm. You can also read about the plight of the Foster family in REASON Magazine's "Pot of Trouble" by DRCNet's own Adam J. Smith. (May, 1997.) It's on-line at http://www.reasonmag.com/9705/col.smith.html.
OREGON RECRIMINALIZATION LEGISLATION: In Oregon, the marijuana recriminalization bill, HB 3643, has passed both houses and is in the hands of Governor John Kitzhaber, MD. DRCNet urges all of our Rapid Response Network members (especially Oregonians) to call the Governor at 503-378- 3111, or fax him at 503-378-4863, no later than noon, Thursday, July 3 and tell him that stiffer penalties for personal-use amounts of mj are neither warranted nor are they socially or economically wise. If you have friends or family in Oregon, please pass this message along. You might even suggest that they subscribe to the DRCNet Rapid Response Network by visiting our "quick-signup" form at http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html or by sending e-mail to email@example.com, including their name and state.
WEB SITE NEWS:
NEW DRCNet FRONT-PAGE!! http://www.stopthedrugwar.org (You can also still find us at http://www.drcnet.org -- the two sites have separate content.)
Over the past two weeks, DRCNet has made four exciting additions to our web presence. The first is our new front- page at the easy-to-remember URL: www.StopTheDrugWar.org which is up and running. (This URL is not case-sensitive.) We will be marketing stopthedrugwar.org in various ways over the coming months and we hope to see a significant increase in the pace of Rapid Response Network growth as a result. The page includes our quick sign-up form and a link to our full membership form. If you are not already a full member of DRCNet, please stop by and fill it out.
DRUG RELATED AIDS http://www.drcnet.org/AIDS
The second new addition is a section on DRUG-RELATED AIDS, which represents a joint project between DRCNet, The Dogwood Center of Princeton, NJ, and Safe Works AIDS Project of Minneapolis, MN, featuring a state-by-state breakdown of drug-related HIV. The section includes a clickable map for ease of use and includes data broken down by ethnicity for each states' statistics. Our gratitude, and the gratitude of the whole movement goes out to Dogwood Center Director (and DRCNet Board Member) Dawn Day, author of Health Emergency and Health Emergency '97, for her tireless efforts in this field. With needle exchange being debated and instituted all over the nation, we know that providing this information will be invaluable for media work, political activism and coalition-building around the AIDS prevention and needle exchange issues.
PRISONERS OF THE DRUG WAR http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/prisoners
A compendium of stories of the prisoners of the drug war. People who would not be rotting in prison, at taxpayer expense, but for the pervasive reach, and perverse excesses, of the War on Drugs. Bring your hankies. A great way to re-charge an activists' batteries by remembering what we are all fighting for... the end to the waste of lives and resources in pursuit of... well... in pursuit of higher profits for corrections corporations, the drug testing industry, criminals, the prison construction industry, enormous budgets for the law enforcement bureaucracy, etc., etc., etc. (you know, you know.)
ACTION ALERT ARCHIVE http://www.drcnet.org/rapid
Right now, on-line, in one place, a (near) complete list of every Rapid Response Network Action Alert since DRCNet's founding in 1993.
DRCNet LINK OF THE WEEK!!
Each week, ON-LINE will feature a different web site that we think might interest our members. Keeping in mind that DRCNet is made up of folks from all parts of the political and cultural spectrums, we will try to have something for everyone as the weeks progress. Please remember that DRCNet is not necessarily advocating for any group or site featured here, (If we are, we'll tell ya) and that we take no responsibility (or at least as little as possible) for the contents thereof. (There you have it... everything I learned in law school.) To prove this, our first ever "LINK OF THE WEEK" will be to our old friends at the Center for Addidction and Substance Abuse (CASA) headed by that heavyweight champion of propaganda, (and we do mean heavyweight) Joseph Califano. Seems that CASA is conducting a survey on their web site, strongly focusing on "legalization". We're sure that good ol' Joe, being the open-minded individual he is, would like to hear from all sides of this debate and so DRCNet cordially invites you to check them out and take their survey. If you choose to make comments on their site, we ask that you please be polite. Our arguments are strong enough without bile. So here it is, check 'em out at:
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES (2)
1. Drug Policy Foundation
DPF, headquartered in Washington, D.C. is looking for a Grant Coordinator. Immediate opening for experienced individual to be responsible for day-to-day administration of its multi-million $ grant program. Position requires 2-4 years experience in related position; excellent organization and communication skills; advanced capabilities in computer apps. and database management. Graduate degree preferred; knowledge of field helpful. Send resume & salary requirements to: Drug Policy Foundation, 4455 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite B-500, Washington, D.C. 20008. Or Fax 202- 537-3006.
2. Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center
The Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center is seeking an executive director.
Executive Director Job Description
Job Summary: The Executive Director (ED) is chief executive officer of the agency, accountable to the Board of Directors. The ED is responsible for policy direction and program development in accordance with board guidelines. The ED is the agency's chief fund-raiser and community liaison. The ED is responsible for staff management and must display leadership and creative concern for staff support and development. The ED is responsible for sound fiscal policy and practice and quality control of all agency services.
Statement of tasks:
Salary range: $50,000, commensurate with experience
Starting date: September 1, 1997 or earlier
Send resume to:
ED Search Committee
Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center
223 East Second Street
New York, NY 10009
THIS WEEK ON-LINE with DRCNet
Written by: Adam J. Smith, J.D., Associate Director
Drug Reform Coordination Network
4455 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
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